NQC 2018: Wednesday Evening

by | Sep 27, 2018 | Concert Review, Major Concert Events, Reviews

My visit to the 2018 National Quartet Convention ended on Wednesday night. I prefer to go for the first three nights to avoid the larger crowds later in the week. I will miss seeing the Gaither Vocal Band and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, but I had opportunities to see just about every other major group that was scheduled to appear at the 2018 NQC.

Although I did not attend the Singing News Fan Awards on Wednesday evening, I did monitor their progress from the comfort of an easy chair at the condo. For the first time ever, the Fan Awards page on SGHistory.com was updated as the award were being presented! Triumphant Quartet dominated the major categories of Favorite Artist, Favorite Song, Favorite Album, and Favorite Traditional Quartet. Favorite Trio went to the Booth Brothers for the 11th year in a row while Favorite Mixed Group was presented to the Collingsworth Family. Click HERE to view the list of winners…not only from 2018, but from every Singing News Fan Awards in history. (As always, please let us know if you catch any errors at SGHistory.com!)

After 2017’s hit-and-miss experiment using artists as emcee’s each evening, the NQC leadership wisely brought in seasoned professionals for 2018. Their names probably aren’t as familiar to the NQC crowd as the artists who hosted in 2017, but the two I saw in action this week (Duane Garren and Josh Franks) were a vast improvement. Both of these men are concert promoters as is Bill Bailey who will serve as host later in the week. They were quick to bring an artist on stage as soon as the crew gave them the signal, and they knew how to smoothly shift into “time filling” mode when a setup took a bit longer than expected. I expect we’ll see them in action for years to come.

On Wednesday evening, I spent more time in the exhibit area than in previous weeks, but I still managed to catch performances by the Whisnants, High Road, the LeFevre Quartet, the Talleys, Triumphant, the Isaacs, the Guardians, Jason Crabb, and Karen Peck & New River. Of these, the two highlights for me were hearing Jason Crabb join High Road for “Christ, My Hope, My Glory” and Triumphant’s entire set which included the Fan Award winning song, “Chain Breaker.”

Although I was in the exhibit area quite a bit tonight, I somehow missed seeing super fan Nicholas Wilkie. I spoke with several folks I had seen earlier in the week, plus I spoke with Dean Newkirk, Brandon Reese, Brad Strider, Clacy Williams, Greg Gainer, John Crenshaw, David Sutton, Tim Pruitt (AKA Smoky Mountain Santa), Rick Francis, and several more. I bumped into MusicScribe’s Diana Brantley, and we chatted briefly as well. (Perhaps she’ll have time to share her experience with you in a future MusicScribe article…hint, hint!)

If you were watching the webcast at home, you may have seen my face on the screen briefly (assuming the video switching in the arena was the same feed people were seeing at home). It was either during Jason Crabb’s set or Karen Peck & New River’s. Once the webcast is offered on demand around the middle of October, you can play a game of Where’s DBM? if you want…no guarantees I’ll be in the final edit, of course.

Until NQC 2019…thanks for reading my NQC reports this week!

David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray is a church music director in Ellenboro, NC. He is the author of Murray's Encyclopedia Of Southern Gospel Music and the owner of both SGHistory.com and MusicScribe.com. David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.


  1. Ellie Travis

    Disappointed you were unable to attend awards show in person. Your valuable insights are always appreciated. Next time hoping you make the effort to attend all events at nqc.

    • David Bruce Murray

      I will take your suggestion under advisement for future trips where I pay a few hundred dollars to attend events like the National Quartet Convention and then pick and choose which showcases to attend while providing reports to readers like you free of charge.


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